Tyler Treese of COGconnected writes - Review aggregates don't have to be a hot garbage factory. By making some forward thinking changes these sites can be better for everyone.
Might not be the most popular opinion, but I really think people put too much stock into scores and aggregate sites. I mean hell, 90% of people probably look at that score and nothing more. In order to have context for those numbers you have to read associated reviews. A single number just doesn't so justice to a written review.
Scores are still important for sure, but the fact that we have people creating petitions to have scores changed, removed etc and making a huge deal over something that makes zero impact overall is proof that it can be taken a bit too far!
Indeed.. even if the satirical post had a noticeable impact on it's metascore, people should be intelligent enough to notice it's got stellar reviews from just about everyone. If not it's their loss.
I agree a score alone is not enough nor should it be. written / spoken words giving context is what makes the score actually mean something. That said, I think the biggest issue for aggregate score collectors is there is no standardization to the scoring system itself. Some sites use 5pt scales, others 10pt or 100 pt scales and then you have aggregate sites like MC taking all those different score systems and translating their scores to a 100pt scale. Its further complicated by a lack of unity around what the different scales from sites mean. I would propose the entire system would be far better if sites like MC and mainline publishers insisted that a universal adoption of 100pts be required by all sites if they wish to get review copies. If you standardize the reviewers score systems I think it would help tremendously for not only sites like MC but also for gamers to get a better sense of the many reviewers out there and how they compare to each other.
I don't think this is much of a problem really, translating everything to a 100 point scale is ok. The bigger problem is the impact of fan boys and click bait. They could do something like ignore the top and bottom ten percent of all reviews to minimize their impact on the score. So one idiot giving stupidly high or low scores won't have any effect.
Well the problem is that as an industry as a whole the bonus structure is built around these review score. I recall fallout new Vegas devs missed getting their bonus from Bethesda because it score one point lower then agreed upon. Sites like metacritic probably should not exist or publishers need to move away from using them. I think publishers should bypass game reviewers all together and stop sending them early copies of games and show us the games directly.
The biggest problem with aggregate sites is that the majority of people don't understand what an aggregate score is, leading to outrageous misunderstandings on what's 'better' or 'worse'
This. This more than anything.
I have always found the average score a very useful piece of information. I will take the Metacritic, the Steam reviews, the Amazon reviews, plus the reviews of a few sites I respect (Game Informer, Eurogamer, The Escapist, and a few others). But if a game has 20+ reviews, an average of all the reviews is a useful indicator.
It's useful to get an idea of what other people 'in general' are thinking about something (a game, movie, etc), but I can't say it's a super strong predictor for how much I'll like that thing myself. I often feel quite different about movies and games than the 'average score' would seem to predict.
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